Most tech are frustratingly incapable of predicting the future, and 2006's 2.0 is no exception. But it holds up better than many, and identifies four key themes still relevant today: - by states, and by code - competing , and latent ambiguity.

Next book is "Thinking in Systems", by Donella H. Meadows, because eventually I'll have to back up all my mutterings about "self-reinforcing behaviors".

"Resilience is not the same thing as being static or constant over time. Resilient can be very dynamic. Short-term oscillations, or periodic outbreaks, or long cycles of succession, climax, and collapse may in fact be the normal condition, which resilience acts to restore."

Forest fires?

"And, conversely, systems that are constant time can be unresilient. This distinction between static stability and resilience is important. Static stability, is something you can see; it's measured by variation in the condition of a system week by week or year by year. Resilience is something that may be very hard to see, unless you exceed its limits, overwhelm and damage the balancing loops, and the system structure breaks down."

"Because resilience may not be obvious without a whole-system view, people often sacrifice resilience for stability, or for productivity, or for some other more immediately recognizable system property."

"Loss of resilience can come as a surprise, because the system usually is playing much more attention to its play than its playing space. One day it does something it has done a hundred times before and it crashes."

"Since Adam Smith, it has been widely believed that the free, competitive market i see one of these properly structured self-regulating . In some ways, it is. In other ways, obvious, to anyone willing to look, it isn't. A does allow producers and consumers, who have the best information about production opportunities and consumption choices, to make fairly uninhibited and locally rational decisions."

"But those decisions can't, by themselves, correct the overall system's tendency to create monopolies and undesirable side effects (externalities), to discriminate against the poor, or to overshoot its sustainable carrying capacity."

The best explanation for "the tragedy of the Commons" I've seen.

Each actor in a system gets the full benefits of exploiting the Commons but share only a fraction of the effects of erosion. Bounded rationality dictates that all actors will overuse a resource.

"If you define the goal of a society as GNP, that society will do its best to produce GNP. It will not produce welfare, equity, justice, or efficiency unless you define and regularly measure and report the state of welfare, equity, justice, or efficiency."

"The world would be a different place if instead of competing to have the highest per capita GNP, nations competed to have the highest per capita stocks of wealth with the lowest throughput, or the lowest infant mortality, or the greatest political freedom, or the cleanest environment, or the smallest gap between the rich and the poor."

"So how do you change paradigms? Thomas Kuhn, who wrote the seminal book about the great paradigm shifts of science, has a lot to say about that. You keep pointing at the anomalies and failures in the old paradigm. You keep speaking and acting, loudly and with assurance, from the new one. You insert people with the new paradigm in places of public visibility and power. You don't waste time with reactionaries; rather, you work with the vast middle ground of people who are open-minded."

Next book is "Winning the Green New Deal: Why We Must, How We Can", edited by Varshini Prakash and Guido Girgenti of the Sunrise Movement. A collection of essays by environmentalists and policy folks.

"Is it just human nature that hold us back, then? In fact, we humans have shown ourselves willing to collectively sacrifice in the face of threats many times, most famously in the embrace of rationing, , and victory bonds during World Wars I and II."

"Indeed, to support fuel conservation during World War II, pleasure driving was virtually eliminated in the UK, and between 1938 and 1944, use of public transit went up by 87% in the US and by 97% in Canada. Twenty million US households - representing three-fifths of the population - were growing in 1943, and they accounted for 42% of the fresh vegetables consumed that year. Interestingly, all of these activities together dramatically reduce carbon emissions."

In his book, "Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America", Ian Haney López compared two economically populist narratives with a nationally representative sample of 2,000:

"To make life better for the working people we need to cut taxes, reduce regulations, and get government out of the way."


"To make life better for working people we need to invest in education, create better-paying jobs, and make health care more affordable for people struggling to make ends meet."

"The progressive message beat the unrestrained-capitalism message by a whopping 32 points. This result confirms that voters generally prefer progressive over pro-business economic policies." However, the study found that messages that relied on racial fear were more effective. So the developed and tested a counterveilling core narrative:

"(1) distrust greedy elites sowing division, (2) join together across racial lines, and (3) demand that government work for all racial groups, whites included. These elements provided the scoffolding on which we built nine diffeerent messages. The race-class sotry they told proved remarkably powerful." - Studies found that the majority of the represeanttive sample found it compelling.

Bill McKibbon - "As it turned out, the big fossil fuel companies had known well before Hansen what was happening. They'd begun a serious study of global warming in the 1970s, as supercomputers began to become fast enough to model the clinate. , for example, was in those days the biggest company on earth, with a crack staff of scientists, and its *product was .*"

"([Exxon's] predictions have proven startlingly accurate, with carbon levels today basically in line with their graphs.) And they were believed by their bosses: began building its drilling rigs higher to compensate for the rise in sea level they knew was on the way."

😱 That's... astounding. They knew that the seas would rise, and their response was to hide this fact and protect their assets? How can anyone think that unregulated business is safe?

Rhiana Gunn-Wright says the pillars "problem, principles, and power... anchor policymaking from conception to execution."

"When it comes to climate change, you will hear people support (or refute) certain policies because it's what 'science dictates.' Science can help us to understand the extent of the climate crisis, identify its causes, and measure its severity. It can even suffrage timelines for action. But science cannot tell us what policy options to pursue. That is a matter of principles."

"If you cut your teeth in policymaking anytime in the past forty years of American politics, you've been surrounded by neoliberal theory presenting itself as 'common sense'."

Yes! It reminds me of the point made in "Inventing the Future", how itself unseated the reigning ideology of Keynsian economics. Every dominating paradigm is "common sense" until it is displaced.

"... the most significant influence - at least during the early development of the GND - was a body of economic theory called the 'new consensus.' Exemplified by work of economists like Ha-Joon Chang, Mariana Mazzucato, Kate Raworth, Ann Pettifor, and Joseph Stiglitz, the new consensus rejects neoliberalism as the 'right 'governing paradigm for modern states."

"...Instead, [the new consensus] contends that many of the crises that we face are the result not of government overreach but of government's abdicating its economic responsibilities: as a market creator, as an industrial planner, and as an innovator. "

"Three additional principles from the New Consensus economists guide Green New Dealers as we craft policy.

First, the US government, at levels, must have a coordinated vision and strategy for a new "green" economy...

Second, public spending and investment are essential, not just for infrastructure and 'public goods' but for innovation.

Third, the should invest in the real economy, not financialization."

"...But vision alone is not enough. The US has not undertaken a substantial economic mobilization in eighty years, and, in the wake of neoliberalism, policymakers do not know how to design one. They need a framework, which the New Green Deal provides."

"... all GND policy, whether narrow or , serves a triple bottom line: achieve decarbonization goals set of by H.R. 109, reduce income inequality, and redress systemic oppression."

" Second, GND policy works to shape markets and create demand so the low-carbon and no-carbon goods become the default, rather than the alternative to carbon intensive goods."

Joseph Stiglitz - "Even the way the question ["can we afford it?"] is posed wrong: when the US was attached in 1941, no one asked, "Can we afford to fight the war?" It was an existential matter. We could not afford *not* to fight it. The same is true for climate change. Moreover, as we have ... noted, we will pay for one way or another, so or makes sense to spend money now to reduce emissions rather than pay a lot more to manage the consequences... in short, we *must* afford it."

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Seems like God made a slight miscalculation by staffing the exit to Hell with Satan's children and then creating a hostile work environment.

Next read is "Concrete Economics" by Stephen S. Cohen and J. Bradford DeLong.

First book from the reading list.

The word "pragmatic" has shown up three times in as many pages in this opening chapter about how governments direct economies. Here again, the necessary if dramatic action isn't crazy, it's reasonable.

"...the winning solutions didn't come from users, or customers, or sales. Rather, great products require an intense collaboration with design and engineering to solve real problems for your users..."

I feel like there's a tension between this principle and the axiom that we need to design with the community.

"Throughout the journey of social entrepreneurship, you’ll be faced with countless distractions. Focus is key. Or as educator Stephen Covey says, “the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” This means saying “no” more often than you might like to."

This makes sense to me. I worked on a tech project that tried to do MANY things, and it ended up not doing many of them well. To this day I wonder if it was overreach.

"Commit to the problem you’re solving – not the technical solution. This is a keystone of social entrepreneurship.“

I think I saw this in Cagan's book, too. Focus on solving problems, not on technical solutions.


A small-scale test that enables you to confirm or deny a hypothesis and answer critical questions before building and launching a fully fledged product."

"Goals of Running a Pilot

Test your hypothesis with more potential customers.

Learn where to find growth opportunities.

Understand what won’t work and why."

I finished "The Power" by Naomi Alderman today.

I didn't enjoy the read, but it was thought provoking. The central thesis of the book seemed to be, "our society is based on power, and if women were stronger than men we would see the same oppressive dynamics we see now, reversed."

That's a grim thought.

Next book is The Entrepreneurial State, by Mariana Mazzucato.

I'm going to try not to overdo it with the social notes. It's a library book due back soon, and I'm not sure writing down everything helps me absorb the content.

Still, I'm excited to dive into another book.


"It is a popular error that bureaucracy is less flexible than private enterprise. it may be so in detail, but when large scale adaptations have to be made, central control is far more flexible. It may take two months to get an answer to a letter from a government department, but or takes twenty years for an industry under private enterprise to readjust itself to a fall in demand.

Joan Robinson, 1978"

General thrust of the first few pages - the state can not only regulate and "fix" markets, it can create and shape them.

"The is often heralded as the quintessential example of what happens when a hands-off government allows genius entrepreneurs to flourish, and yet the development of the features that make the iPhone a smartphone and not a stupid phone was publicly funded."

"The iPhone depends on the ; the progenitor of the Internet was , a program funded in the 1960s by... (DARPA)... The Global Positioning System () began as a 1970s US military program called . The 's touchscreen technology was founded by the company FingerWorks, which was founded by a professor at the publicly funded University of Delaware and one of his doctoral candidates, who received grants from the National Science Foundation and the CIA."

"Even , the iPhone's cheery, voice-recognizing personal assistant, can trace its lineage to the US government: it is a spinoff of a artificial intelligence project."

This leads to the question: how does learning from a military research and innovation agency become accessible by the public? What's the process?

Oh God, this book is so dense, if I quote at length I will HAVE to return it before I finish.

...BUT IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT "many of the most promising new drugs trace their origins to research done by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) which has an annual budget of some $30 billion."

"As I have emphasized in a recent project commissioned by NASA... on the emerging low-earth orbit economy, the danger is that we socialize the risks of space exploration, but once again let the rewards of the venture be privatized. This can put future innovation at risk, as the state agencies responsible for the innovation do not share in the rewards."

@Argus Rutger Bregmann argues that the GNP war a useful device during WW2, as governments needed to know how productive the war-machine was but it's not usefull to value a society in peace. The GNP grows when one company poisons the water and another one cleans it up.

@Argus He also says that the alternatives like the happinessn index are also to be taken with a grain of salt. But maybe you can't turn the state of society and economy into just one number. How about we select several statistics?


It is something fighting in me.
While I strongly agree because of
we should put all our efforts in solving the problem how to cross oceans emission free because unfortunately my deepest belief is that more young people become racists simply because they are less able to travel to learn and profit from other cultures.

There is nothing commonsense about #corporations being able to destroy savers with #moneyPrinting, though.

Neoliberalism ideology starts with the premise that #savers are bad and must be financially castrated. That people should not be able to store wealth, that #banks get to create #wealth by typing numbers into a computer.

The system is designed to liberate a 1% group. Ask people how #banking should work — that's #commonSense.

#corporatism #neoliberalism #ruledByTheLeastQualified

@Argus Regarding offshore oil rigs, don't they float? In what way was did #Exxon change their design to accommodate ocean rise?

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